Tim Minchin deftly juggles collaboration and control for Upright

Tim Minchin was joined by supporting cast at the Upright S2 premiere last night in Sydney.

Tim Minchin was guest of honour last night at the premiere of Upright Season 2 in Sydney.

Joining him at the Enmore Theatre in Newtown were cast members including Jess McNamee, Ella Scott Lynch, Travis Cotton and Nicholas Brown, plus Lingo Pictures producers Jason Stephens and Helen Bowden.

Season 2 picks up the story of Lucky (Minchin) and Meg (Milly Allcock) three years after their road trip west. This time Minchin embarked on a journey to Far North Queensland, but tells TV Tonight he had hesitations about returning to the story.

“Initially they had to convince me that Season Two was a good idea,” he said.

“So I spent a couple of days in a writers’ room and I came out convinced that it was not only a good idea, but kind of necessary to tell Meg’s story, and to try and find Meg’s mum in the same way that we had to get back to Lucky’s mum.

“We had different writers, younger writers and totally different brains. Just the joy of creating a story out of nothing, really, is the best bit of the whole thing.”

Unlike his songwriting work, television represents a far more collaborative process, but Minchin sees value in both approaches to being creative.

“I’m quite controlled and controlling, when I’m actually writing. You need to be, if you want to write like I want to write. But there’s two phases. One is ‘what will the story be? What are the beats?’ That’s collaborative and I love that. You need people arguing (during writing),” he maintained.

“But when it comes to who-says-what, and the actual dialogue, I can’t have anyone anywhere near me.

“And it’s the same as songwriting. I can’t have anyone even in the house.”

The premiere event included a Q+A and a musical number of a ballad which is performed by Lucky in the final episode.

Season 2 features also sees the return of Heather Mitchell, Daniel Lapaine, Daniel Frederikse and Asmara Feik.

They are joined Noni Hazlehurst, Hayley McElhinney, Darren Gilshenan, Tom Budge, Anita Hegh, Dimitrius Schuster-Koloamatangi, Queenie van de Zandt and Jeanette Cronin.

Minchin recalls a challenging shoot with pandemic and weather considerations in Queensland, but is grateful to his crew for completing the work under trying conditions.

“I was incredibly ambitious, and Lingo were very supportive of my ambition. But the cost is borne by the crews and the director, to try and shoot an action / adventure / drama / comedy in 40 days,” he said.

“Floods meant we had to change locations. The art department was completely strapped for time and cash. There were COVID restrictions. A huge amount of money went on the RATs and COVID protocols.

“Milly had come off House of the Dragon and started the show pretty drained. But she was amazing.”

This series also sees Mirrah Foulkes (Judy and Punch) directing the whole season, whom Minchin hadn’t worked with before.

“I just couldn’t be more admiring of her resilience and I love her. We had a lot of experience in the crew -not in the hierarchy, but in the nuts and bolts: the gaffers and the grips. We owe the whole thing to those people.”

Upright returns with a double episode premiere Tuesday November 15 at 8.30pm on FOX Showcase.

2 Responses

  1. Already in the planner, so looking forward to this season with more characters than the last season. Love the promo with the Choir Boys song, I hadn’t heard that in years but it’s now back on my playlist again too.

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